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Turning 18 with HT: ‘Why fight over religion, we’re Indians first’

This 18-year-old believes India has its share of problems such as a fast-growing population, illiteracy, poverty, corruption and crime against women but they can be addressed with political will and changed mindset.

punjab Updated: Apr 13, 2018 13:37 IST
Yojana Yadav
Yojana Yadav
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Turning 18,religion,fight over religion
Go-getter: St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, Chandigarh, head girl Srishti (who goes by one name) is an international-level softball player who doesn’t fear failure. She simply gets back into the game and gives her best shot. (Keshav Singh/HT)

A non-medical student, Srishti aims to be financially independent with a professional degree before pursuing her passion for music; her dream is to be famous with a huge fan following

Name: Srishti

Born on: November 15, 2000

Badge of honour: Head girl, St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, Chandigarh

What turning 18 means to me

I’m excited about stepping into adulthood. As I head for college, there will be more responsibilities that I’m confident of shouldering. I look forward to voting and being eligible to drive, too.

What I want to be and why

I want to be financially independent and professionally sound. I’m a non-medical student and am taking engineering entrance exams. I want to do BTech in computer science or electronics. I plan to pursue my first love, music, once I join a course that gives me a professional degree.

My idea of India

India is a diverse country with a rich culture. It has its share of problems such as a fast-growing population, illiteracy, poverty, corruption and crime against women but they can be addressed with political will and changed mindset. I want to see India as a developed nation.

What makes me happy

Time spent with family and friends. It’s overwhelming to see them celebrate my achievements. I’m an international-level softball player and represented Chandigarh in the national team. Seeing softball and baseball gaining popularity in our region makes me happy. I’m fond of music, particularly Armaan Malik’s track ‘Main rahoon ya na rahoon’.

What makes me angry

Communities fighting over religion and caste. Why can’t we be Indians first? I also get angry when women are not given their due or discriminated against.

My fear and fantasy

Most people face the fear of failure but I don’t. I simply get up and try again. But I’m scared of lizards and closed spaces.

I like the idea of being a famous personality (in any field) with a huge fan following.

Am I happy where I am

It’s a new phase of life as I’ll be graduating from school to college. I’ll be wearing my school uniform one last time on Friday when I take my last board exam. It makes me nostalgic but I’ll have to deal with it.

What money means to me

Money is important to lead a happy life. It’s only when one can fulfil one’s and the family’s needs can one be happy. I want to be financially independent and secure.

What makes me proud of India

I’m proud to have represented India at the international baseball meet at Clearwater, Florida, in the US from July 22-28 last year. People across the world find Indians warm and cultured.

What I can’t live without

I don’t want to make anything my habit. Having travelled for sports meets, I’ve become independent and learnt to adapt.

What social media means to me

Though I’m active on WhatsApp and Snapchat, I like Instagram best for it brings me pictures from the world over. I like photography, particularly of scenic mountains. I find social media a source of information and tool for communication among friends. It’s not a distraction until it’s used in a balanced manner.

Change I want to see in Chandigarh

Chandigarh is a planned and beautiful city. In view of the growing population and traffic, I want the administration to encourage eco-friendly modes of transport and improve the public transport system. The Metro is not suitable for a small city such as Chandigarh. A better bus service is the best bet.

Change I want to see in India

Our education system needs a relook. For instance, the eligibility for taking competitive exams for engineering entrance is Class 12 but the level of questions asked is higher than what is taught in the syllabus. Why add to pressure of students? The emphasis should be on understanding than rote learning.

What religion means to me

Faith is a personal matter. We are born in a certain religion but that doesn’t mean it is superior to another. I don’t believe in divisions over faith.

My role model and why

My father, Sanjeev Arora, is my role model. He is a wholesale dealer in medicines. I look up to him because he has a solution to every problem. He goes the extra mile to achieve what he has promised. Once I was to go to Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh for a softball camp. There were no air or train tickets available at a short notice so he drove all the way to make me reach there in time. He is a go-getter and that’s what I want to be too. My mother, Monika Arora, who is a social studies teacher in my school, inspires me to be disciplined and focused.

First Published: Apr 12, 2018 13:47 IST